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106.51172310 Kenmore Elite Not defrosting

Ramon Ramos Toro

Premium Member
Nov 8, 2013
Puerto Rico
Model Number
Hi. My refrigerator has been running fine. A little over a week ago, the fridge side turned warm while freezer side was cold. Checked and the coil on freezer side was packed with frost. Bi metal tested open (no continuity) with fridge off and defrosted. Also after running the coil a few minutes to cool it down had no continuity.

A service technician confirmed the heating element was fine and replaced the thermostat with a locally purchased part (Electrolux 240386401). Three days later, I started manually defrosting (short cycle) because the fridge never quiets down and the fridge side is starting to feel warm again.

Diagnostics indicate the thermostat is open when the fridge is cold (thought it was supposed to close when the fridge comes to normal temperature range). After replacement, an online service indicates the thermostat I purchased is not a good fit for my refrigerator.

I have not been able to locate its specs but based on the info provided by the local store, it was close to the original part. Is there a way (other than running the fridge; say with a meter) to check if the thermostat is a good fit and working properly? Is it possible the control board is bad and I am getting false indication of the thermostat status? Can I check or otherwise diagnose the board?

I have been running the short cycle defrost because I read somewhere that the long cycle is only used for factory tests. However, the short cycle does not seem to be defrosting enough. For the time being, can I use the long cycle safely?

Correct, you should NOT use any other defrost thermostat other than the OEM one per the manufacturer. You Kenmore is made by Whirlpool, so the part I'm posting below is your OEM defrost thermostat.

You ALWAYS always ohm test it while its frosty to verify its bad. If its not frosty you can do the ice water ohm test in the video below.

Here is the OEM defrost thermostat for your model you can order:
WPW10225581 Defrost Thermostat

Watch this video, leave it in the ice water for at least 5 minutes before ohm testing it:

Thanks Jake. I saved the original bi-metal. Put it in my other refrigerator's freezer compartment an hour or so and it is now showing continuity. (Recall that during original troubleshooting I just cooled it in place with the coil for a few seconds). So I am thinking maybe it was not the bad actor in the first place. Does this mean the control board may be bad? Any way to confirm this before ordering a new one?
Yes, If your defrost heater and defrost thermostat ohm test good, then the only other part that would cause this problem is the control board.

Here's the control board for your model you can order:
WPW10516800 Cntl-Elec


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